Idaho to require personal details of women getting abortions
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho will require abortion providers to report how many times their patients have terminated a pregnancy in the past and other personal information under the latest anti-abortion law approved in the conservative state.
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter signed the legislation Thursday, just two days after approving a measure requiring women seeking abortions to be informed that the drug-induced procedures can be halted halfway. That is despite opposition from medical groups that say there is little evidence to support that claim.
The laws that take effect July 1 align with a national trend among Republican-dominant statehouses seeking new ways to test the legal ability to restrict a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.
Similar proposals on reporting patients’ information have been introduced this year in Indiana and Arizona. At least 20 states have such laws on the books, though the amount of detail that must be reported varies, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which opposes abortion restrictions.
Some of the personal information required in the new Idaho measure is already collected by the state’s health and welfare agency. However, providers now will be mandated by law to report a woman’s age, race, how many children she has, if any of their children have died and how many abortions they have had in the past.
The legislation outlines a list of abortion complications — such as infection, blood clots and hemorrhaging — that providers, hospitals and clinics must report to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Depression, anxiety and sleeping disorders also are on the list.
The state would compile the information for an annual report and make it available to the Legislature and the public, but identifying information would not be revealed.
The Guttmacher Institute said interest in such laws has spiked after a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling struck down Texas restrictions that contributed to the shutdown of more than half the state’s abortion clinics.
At the time, the court found there was insufficient data to justify the restrictions, which required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards.
Idaho courts also have overturned some state laws targeting abortion due to a lack of information about complications surrounding the procedure.